Actionable Ethics through Neural Learning


  • Daniele Rossini PwC Italy
  • Danilo Croce University of Rome Tor Vergata
  • Sara Mancini PwC Italy
  • Massimo Pellegrino PwC Italy
  • Roberto Basili University of Rome Tor Vergata



While AI is going to produce a great impact on society, its alignment with human values and expectations is an essential step towards a correct harnessing of AI potentials for good. There is a corresponding growing need for mature and established technical standards to enable the assessment of an AI application as the evaluation of its graded adherence to formalized ethics. This is clearly dependent on methods to inject ethical awareness at all stages of an AI application development and use. For this reason we introduce the notion of Embedding Principles of ethics by Design (EPbD) as a comprehensive inductive framework. Although extending generic AI applications, it mainly aims at learning the ethical behaviour through numerical optimization, i.e. deep neural models. The core idea is to support ethics by integrating automated reasoning over formal knowledge and induction from ethically enriched training data. A deep neural network is proposed here to model both the functional as well as the ethical conditions characterizing a target decision. In this way, the discovery of latent ethical knowledge is enabled and made available to the learning process. The application of the above framework to a banking application, i.e. AI-driven Digital Lending, is used to show how accurate classification can be achieved without neglecting the ethical dimension. Results over existing datasets demonstrate that the ethical compliance of the sources can be used to output models able to optimally fine tune the balance between business and ethical accuracy.




How to Cite

Rossini, D., Croce, D., Mancini, S., Pellegrino, M., & Basili, R. (2020). Actionable Ethics through Neural Learning. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 34(04), 5537-5544.



AAAI Technical Track: Machine Learning